First Edition Bucholtz Map of Virginia
"Map of the State of Virginia Containing the Counties, Principal Towns, Railroads Rivers, Canals & All Other Internal Improvements", Bucholtz, Ludwig von
Period: 1858 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
37.8 x 25.5 inches
96 x 64.8 cm
This first and only edition map of Virginia by Ludwig von Bucholtz was published by Ritchie & Dunnavant in Richmond three years prior to the American Civil War. Bucholtz was also commissioned to revise the 1826 Hermann Boye 9-sheet map of Virginia, and this map undoubtedly was a product of that exhaustive work which was released in 1859. The updated Boye-Bucholtz map was widely regarded as the most accurate map of Virginia for its time.
Cartographically, the map shows all of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A detailed bird’s-eye view of Capitol Square in Richmond adorns the top left corner of the map and a chart below the view lists all the railroads with the length of each line. A reference key notes principal cities, state and county lines, railroads (completed, in progress, and proposed), canals, rivers, plank roads, and court houses. This map was reissued in 1862 and 1864 by West & Johnston due to demand caused by the outbreak of the Civil War. These later editions brought only a few updates to the Bucholtz map including telegraph lines, springs, and a few additional railroads in northern Virginia. Folds into black cloth-covered boards with gilt title on front cover.
Ludwig von Bucholtz was a German emigrant hired by Claudius Crozet, Chief Engineer of the Virginia Board of Public Works, in 1852. After successfully supervising the publication of an internal improvements map in 1855, Bucholtz was appointed the task of revising Boye's 1826 map. In 1859, he would issue the updated map in both its original nine-sheet format as well as a reduced four-sheet map.
References: Phillips (Maps) p. 988; Rumsey #4905; Wooldridge (Portolan - Spring 2007) pp. 26-39; cf. Stephenson (Civil War) #475.5; cf. Wooldridge #254.
Issued folding with several short splits at fold intersections and an edge tear at left that enters 1.5" into the image and has been closed on verso with archival tissue. There are five tiny holes along two folds - three near the "R" of Virginia in the title, and two to the right of the capitol square illustration. The map has separated from the covers, which are present and moderately worn with a small abrasion below the cover title. There are old stamps on verso from a Mexican library that is no longer in existence.